Aleria: Worldbuilding 101 Exercise/Contest


A group that I belong to on Scribophile recently had a worldbuilding exercise/contest. Users were encouraged to try their hand at building a world. The caveat? The piece can only be 300 words long total. It was an interesting challenge and there were some great entries.

I tried my hand, here is what I had:

With Cailin’s hand in hers, Alyssa crested the large, grassy hill that hid Aleria from view. Her mouth dropped open as she took in the valley below and the stone fortifications that held one of the most magnificent medieval cities in the world. Stone walls wrapped around a city with fields encircling the walls. Buildings made from brick, stone, and wood alike could be seen in the distance lining the streets of this massive city. Aleria, the home of Magic.

“How has this remained hidden for so long?” Alyssa asked those who surrounded her.

“For one, it is a very well-kept secret,” Cailin answered as he started to gently pull Alyssa down the other side of the hill. A tugging feeling hit Alyssa’s stomach as she started to step down. “You feel that? That is the other reason it has managed to stay hidden for so long. It is very well warded.”

Shao Island was a small town, so were a few of the other places that Alyssa had lived but none of them had fields like the ones she passed through on her way to the main gates. Growth of all kinds bordered the roads into the massive city.

Wooden gates with wrought iron adornments loomed in front of her, three or more times her height. Alyssa felt a pang of sympathy for whoever had to open and close those doors, they must weigh a ton.

Once through the tunnel, the gates opened onto a marketplace filled with vendors and shops selling just about anything. Alyssa couldn’t keep her attention in any one place. Nothing in the modern world could compare to such a city, and she had only just taken her first few steps through the gates.

If you have read some of my past work on Purple Fire, then you know that this work is about it. This is a sample from some of the changes I am planning for this year’s NaNoWriMo. While I was quite happy with this, this was a quick draft and something that I enjoyed writing. When NaNoWriMo comes this will change but Aleria will be different from past writings about it.

[WP] The Arks


During a flight you accidentally damage a window and find out that they aren’t actually windows, but monitors.


I know I took a little bit of liberties with the prompt itself but if one can’t do that there isn’t much point in having prompts.

 The Arks

As I sat in the seat of the six passenger shuttle I couldn’t help but feel the need to pee.  I believe it to be some psychological force that as soon as you sit down for a flight you instantly have to go to the bathroom and you never want to get up to use the shuttle bathrooms.  On a shuttle this small the bathroom was smaller than a closet.  Just big enough to sit down and close the door.  And because of the small space of the shuttle if someone were to take a poop it would smell up the whole ship for days.

Continue reading “[WP] The Arks”

In Class Writing Prompt 4-30-2013


Our prompt today was to take a random action passed out in an envelope and work in an obsessive thought while that action is taking place.  The thoughts were handed out in the same manner.  I really liked this exercise because I got a pair that catered to my genre.

Action: Juggling Knives

Obsessive Thought: The fact that s/he hates his/her boss and wants to quit his/her job.


Lyle was an expert at juggling knives.  It was one of the few magic tricks that he knew how to preform.  Growing up under the tutelage of a master wizard he had to learn how to be calm and collected and avoid distractions, or at least continue working despite them.  Juggling had been his tutor’s idea of how to learn to be distraction free.  Starting off easy, Lyle first learned to juggle bean bags then worked his way up to knives.

It was because of this constant training that instilled juggling as a second nature for Lyle and allowed him to think of other things while doing it.  As the knives twirled threw his fingers on their way to being airborn Lyle thought of his job.  It was not boring, it was not mundane, it was not for the feint of heart, yet sometimes he hated it.  Now was one of those moments.

As a protector, Lyle’s job was to defend those without any magickal inclinations against those who would do them harm with magick.  Now it is not magic that he was charged with defending against, for magic is cheep tricks like the juggling act he was performing as he thought.  No, magick with a k is the kind that most people would like to deny existed.  It can run anywhere from a low level clervoyant who knows who is calling before they look at the phone to a full fledged wizard like Lyle.  Someone who is capable of doing extreme damage to those around them.

Earlier in the day a mother had come to Lyle claiming her child had been kidnapped by some mystickal creature.  It wasn’t uncommon in a place like Seattle where he weird is the normal and the paranormal can fit in.  What was uncommon was what Lyle had found several hours earlier, the boy’s body, completely destroyed.  Destroyed was the only word Lyle would allow himself to use, for it was a horrific scene and not one he cared to remember.  This was the reason he hated his job sometimes.

The world gave him these jobs and he was in no position to say no.  Vary rarely were the cases something pretty.

Exercise: Old Photo

The last required exercise of the week ended up being short.  We had to take an old photo, preferably not a profile picture, and describe what is going on it, what we see, etc.  Here is mine.

The picture of the World Seido Organization preparing for a demonstration at the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2009 is dear to me.  My sparring partner of 10 years sits behind the glass wall yet still out of sight with me and the younger students.  We were watching over them while the black belts, clearly visible are outside talking in a circle about the demonstration.  Or at least that is what I think they are doing.  Their white uniforms with black belts are quite noticeable in the center of the picture.  The stage, behind them is only a foot or so higher, just high enough to make us visible to the crowd sitting in folding chairs on the cement outside the glass windows.